Featured, My head

The Lucky Girls

October 26, 2015
the lucky girls

image by Kirtsten Cox

I’ve been observing my daughter a lot lately.

Her cheeky smile with it’s flashing double dimples, or the way she looks up at me after doing something naughty and says “it was an accident,” when she and I both know that it was bloody not an accident and now she’s trying it on like a pork chop… and we smile.

I’ve been watching her carefree laughter that makes her crazy blonde curls bob around her face.

I’ve been sneaking into her room and lying down next to her to watch her cherubic face while it sleeps, breathing in her warm breath as she snuffles in her sleep.

I’ve been marveling at how lucky we are to have each other. I feel all of these things for my son, naturally, but the reason I’m feeling them so deeply for Kiki right now has a lot to do with my new job.

I’m investigating stories all the time, rarely are they good news. Often they are horrific parental infractions against girls. Some boys, of course, they are not spared from the horrors of the world, but mostly it’s girls.

Girls being prostituted by their mothers in Kenya, such an unfathomable atrocity. I look at Kiki’s sweet, trusting innocence and I wonder what kind of parent could sell their child’s precious body.

If someone tried to take my child’s body I would fight like a wild tiger and I would die for her. In the heat of the moment to help the creature born from my very cells, I would kill for her.

To keep her safe, and innocent and whole.

The Rafiki Mwema safe-house, in a nutshell, is a place in Kenya where they house girls that are victims of sexual crimes. They not only put them through the court system so their offender feels the hand of justice for their crimes and get them the medical attention required because a tiny body has been broken by a forceful adult, but they teach them something very valuable.

The incredible team teach the girls what it is to be loved  because many of them have not known that feeling, so they do not know that they are worthy, valuable and beautiful creatures of the Universe who deserve to feel safe and warm.

The story of these babies- and they are babies starting from one-year-old up to 14 – hit me somewhere pretty deep in my soul and I can’t help but think how damned lucky we are just through sheer birth and geography. Lucky that I was born somewhere where this type of crime is unusual, and not an everyday occurrence.

I then had a long interview with a remarkable young woman who survived her mother’s Munchausen by proxy. Again, horror at the hand of a parent.

I won’t go into the story here, but if you want to read an incredible tale of resilience you can read it on AWW here.

All of this stuff that I’m experiencing through work, this new constant stream of news, makes me look at my life and thank my lucky stars that I was cherished by my mother, and in turn I can cherish my children by merely displaying the behaviour that was modeled to me.

Not that long ago when my life was looking kind of messy my mother said to me –

“Danielle, you are beautiful, you are intelligent and you are worthy.”

I wish every girl had a mum to put gems such as this into their pockets, because when your mum builds you up the world feels less scary.

I feel so very lucky to have been born to my Mum, and Kiki in turn is lucky to be born to me.

But it is just luck, we are the lucky girls.

I decided last week to take a little bit of my luck and share it with one of the Rafiki Mwema girls in hope that by making a small contribution to her life I can help turn around some the shitty luck she was born into. I can’t help all of the unlucky girls, but by helping just one I know that I’m doing a little something of significance with all the good fortune I have.

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  • Reply alex October 26, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Heartbreaking post and yes, we are the lucky girls. Your new Rafiki ‘daughter’ is utterly beautiful, those eyes! She’s defo becoming more lucky getting a part of you you crazy cats! X

  • Reply Zanni October 26, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Beautiful post. I remind my daughter all the time how lucky we are. We are. We support Rafiki Mwema too. I like knowing that all our contributions go directly to the girls, and not into the pockets of some corrupt business. The women who run Rafiki Mwema are truly amazing, as are the girls they support. x

  • Reply Cass Eager October 26, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Good on you Danielle! Both your girls are now lucky.

    • Reply Danielle November 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Love you x

  • Reply Sonia from Sonia Styling October 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    You are such a beautiful soul. x

    • Reply Danielle November 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm


  • Reply Sarah Rosborg October 27, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Love having you in the family!

    • Reply Danielle November 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      Love being in your special family.

  • Reply raphaela99 October 27, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Love this post! xxx

  • Reply champagnecole October 27, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I just read your other article as well. Insane. Munchausen is a psychiatric condition so that is a whole other issue (although horrific) but what could possibly drive a mother to sell her little girl’s body. Starvation?

    We are all the lucky girls. I do wish my mum gave me the strength yours does. But ultimately I know she loves me and would always try to protect me. It seems such a foreign concept that that isn’t always the case.

    I’m going to see if I can work out a way to sponsor a rafiki mwema girl too. Or at least donate

  • Reply The adventure of a lifetime; Kilimanjaro and Rafiki – Keeping Up With the Holsbys February 15, 2016 at 7:11 am

    […] no secret that my heart has been torn asunder by the Rafiki Mwema girls. I’ve written about my first experience with them here, and again in The Weekly […]

  • Reply Want me to cook you and five mates a 3-course dinner? – Keeping Up With the Holsbys September 20, 2016 at 7:24 am

    […] about how the girl’s safe house is helping change the lives of survivors of sexual crime here, and I’ve pledged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2017 and then go and stay at Rafiki […]

  • Reply The diary of an existential crisis – Keeping Up With the Holsbys February 10, 2017 at 8:36 am

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  • Reply Holding my rafiki – Keeping Up With the Holsbys February 24, 2017 at 7:52 am

    […] From the moment I left my house, the thing I looked forward to the most was meeting my Rafiki Mwema sponsor child, Joy*. […]

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